A Montage


According to Webster’s New World Dictionary it is the technique of producing a new composite from “fragments.“ Thank you to all of you who have kindly offered me these fragments, which has helped me put this piece together. It does take a team.

The mind’s eye of each meaningful individual helps them process information and present it in ways meaningful to them. Dr. Ruby Corby O’Neill posted the writing of John O’Donohue, an Irish Poet, and introduced me to his inspirational writings. This poem comes from “To Bless the Space Between Us,” a beautiful collection of blessings to help readers through both the everyday and the extraordinary events in their lives:


This is the time to be slow,

Lie low to the wall,

Until the bitter weather passes.


Try as best you can not to let the wire brush of doubt

Scrape from your heart

All sense of your self

And your hesitant light.


If you remain generous,

Time will come good,

And you will find your feet

Again on fresh pastures of promise

Where the air will be kind

And blushed with beginning.


I can always count on wise words from B’nai Israel’s Rabbi Eric Polokoff. At a Shabbat Service conducted on Zoom on Friday evening, March 27, the Rabbi and Music Director Linda Goodman were in their respective homes. People were able to participate using their computers. This is an excerpt from the prayer he offered: “We are especially mindful of our health-care providers and caregivers and of their great caring and courage and the dangers they face. We are grateful for all those working behind the scenes from grocery clerks to truckers and plant workers who sustain us all. For all, may the Holy One send healing and protection to us all. Music Director Linda Goodman sang the traditional Mi Sheberach, the prayer for healing. The internet offered a Mi Sheberach created for now. Here is an excerpt. “God, help us reach out in love and compassion to one another, and to support those who are ill. Be our still waters when we are surrounded by fear and anxiety. “

It seems that Zoom plays a very important part in the lives of many Villagers now, since social distancing is part of our lifestyle. Ruby O’Neill attended the Shabbat services with Rep. Arthur O’Neill made possible by Zoom. Ruby stated, “Everyone there was live and everyone’s face was across the top of the screen. Rabbi mutes and unmutes, and we could speak to each other sometimes. We could hear others singing. After the service, we had a virtual reception and an oneg (refreshments) and we waved to each other,” she said.

Hooray for the Heritage Helpers! Village volunteers have formed the Heritage Helpers working with the Senior Center, the Southbury Ladies’ Club, and the Knights of Columbus to provide assistance and support to physically and socially isolated residents. I spoke with Sara D’Uva on March 31. She and Kathy Forte created this program. “I have given each volunteer a page from the Heritage Village Directory. They make calls to the residents. If they wish to have continual calling from a volunteer, I will match them up with a buddy,” commented D’Uva. If you want to become a volunteer, call Jen Fenn at 203-264-9644, ext. 321. My friend and neighbor Terry Petruzzelli volunteered and hopes to have a buddy or buddies.

The town of Southbury Senior Services with the help of the Knights of Columbus will offer shopping and delivery of groceries to be conducted Monday through Friday. You can submit your order to the town website. If you don’t have a computer, or need additional information, you can call the Senior Center at 203-262-0651.

We’ve watched people on balconies in various places around the world applauding doctors, nurses and first responders, and others who are serving on the front lines. Let’s give it up for all of the children and grandchildren of Villagers that are first responders, nurses, doctors and anyone on the front lines. Villager Betty Nipoti’s daughter-in-law is a Hospice nurse in Massachusetts including the Cape Cod area. She is face-timing with patients and their families in her practice. She is reusing and sanitizing masks. Betty’s daughter Michelle is a Human Resources Coordinator for three hospitals, and is conducting nurse employee orientation via teleconferencing.

“Anthony is working so hard,“ said his Nana, Marilyn Pastore. Corporal Anthony Armeno is a member of the Southbury Police force. Brittany Coda, granddaughter of Belle Coda is a nurse at Bridgeport Hospital. Beth Drake is a nurse at Danbury Hospital and is the daughter of Harriett and Herman Rosenfield. Dr. Anita Petruzzelli practices in Glastonbury and is the daughter of Terry and Len Petruzzelli our delightful neighbors. I’m sure there are many more.

Families are taking advantage of Zoom. Sandy and Dan Marcus have three sons and their families are scattered all over the place. It’s difficult to get together, but thanks to Zoom they all visited this past Sunday. Sandy was so excited, and the family hopes to gather next weekend again. There’s a family in Chicago with a daughter in Michigan. Others come from East Providence, R.I., New Canaan and Brooklyn, N.Y.. Of course, granddog Charlotte joined the group. Son James was instrumental in the technical set up. Zoom is revolutionizing the way people get together. Meeting face to face is as simple as a single call, and so important right now. What would Alexander Graham Bell have to say about that?

This morning I hung a heart on my front door. It was suggested that this be done to honor health workers and first responders. Dara, a young woman that I worked with years ago, made it for Valentine’s Day for Lionel and me, and I’ve saved it. I spoke with Barbara Mechler who encouraged Condo One members to ring bells. “Ringing bells at 8 p.m. was not my idea. A Heritage Village Group on Facebook was started for residents by a resident and the bell-ringing idea began with that group,” said Mechler.

Many residents in Condo One face the pond, a great place to stage a show of support. Owen McDonnell played the bagpipes, and many heard the magnificent selections: “Amazing Grace,” “God Bless America,” and “Danny Boy,” “

I received an e-mail with the following prayer, sent by Mary McCusker, Director of Operations at Arts Escape. She received it from Fr. Joseph McShane, president of Fordham University. Sharing another prayer will surely help: “Look at them intently. Peer into their eyes. Pray for them. And, because this would both please them and affirm the nobility of what they are doing, pray also for those who they are serving so selflessly during this time of trials.”